How Mobile Wallet Works

Mobile wallets were designed to provide consumers with an easier and more secure form of payment. In lieu of carrying around your physical credit cards, you can create a mobile wallet with your smartphone and access your forms of payment easily.

In addition to managing all your credit cards, your mobile wallet retains information relating to any reward cards or loyalty memberships you hold. Creating a mobile is an easy process and does not cost you any money. All you need to do is download the correct app for your smartphone and link your account information for your credit cards and memberships to the app. Both Apple and Android phones offer users a unique mobile wallet, but you may choose to opt into one of the versions offered by your credit card company instead. You can use your mobile wallet to pay for electronic transactions and transactions conducted in select stores across the U.S.

What devices can I use to access my mobile wallet?

The primary way to access your mobile wallet is through your smartphone. You can create and use a mobile wallet with an Apple or an Android device once you have downloaded the appropriate app. Even if you choose to download an app provided by your credit card company, you may still use either of these devices to access your mobile wallet when you are making a purchase online or in-person.

In addition to using your smartphone, you can access your mobile wallet on several other devices to enhance your shopping experience. You can use a smartwatch to complete payments with your mobile wallet if the watch is compatible with the app you have downloaded for this service. After you have created your mobile wallet account, you can link your smartphone to the account to provide yourself with two separate ways of accessing your wallet when it is time for you to complete a transaction.

If you do not have a smartphone or a smartwatch, you may be able to add a mobile wallet to a tablet, depending on the compatibility of the mobile wallet. All you need to do is follow the process of registering your account to your tablet. You must ensure you are carrying your tablet with you if you choose to make an in-person purchase using this service. This is often inconvenient for shoppers who have larger tablets, but it does provide shoppers with the ability to leave their physical wallet or purse at home if they want to run to the store to make a quick purchase.

What are the benefits of switching to a mobile wallet?

Switching to a mobile wallet provides you with a sense of convenience and security you do not commonly have when you are carrying your physical cards with you. By creating a mobile wallet containing all your credit cards, you can access several forms of payment at once. In doing so, you are providing yourself with direct access to cards you may not use as frequently without having to worry about filling your physical wallet full of potential payment options. Additionally, the process of paying becomes streamlined, as you do not need to wait for someone to bring you change or run your credit card through your machine. You only need to tap your device to the digital-payment enabled device and the transaction takes place automatically.

The added security is the primary benefit of owning a mobile wallet, as your information automatically becomes encrypted once you upload your credit card information to your mobile account. Many mobile wallets required a two-step authorization process, meaning others cannot easily access your credit card information. Most mobile wallet apps require a passcode. Apple has even created a fingerprint authorization before a user can access his or her financial information. This helps to deter possible thefts, as any thief must have your fingerprint to gain access to your mobile wallet.

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You may be hesitant to take this step if you are prone to losing your phone, but the point of having a two-step authentication process is to ensure your personal information remains protected during times where you have misplaced your mobile wallet. If you lose your phone and find unauthorized charges made to your account, you can switch the password for your mobile wallet and alert your bank to the issue right away to prevent further issues from arising. The sooner you are able to alert your bank to theft, the easier it is for the bank to correct the issue and prevent the thief from taking even more of your money.

Where can I use my mobile wallet once I have made the switch?

Many businesses have already made the switch to digital-payment enabled terminals, but depending on where you live or shop, it may not be available everywhere. You can typically use your mobile wallet when you are conducting transactions online, as you can choose the card you want to use to make a purchase during the checkout process for most online retailers. You can choose to create purchases through the mobile wallet app directly as well, which provides you with an alternative method of shopping.

When you are attempting to use your mobile wallet at a physical retail store, you must ensure the retailer you are visiting is equipped with the correct terminals. Most updated terminals allow for automatic digital payment processing, meaning all you need to do is open your mobile wallet app and select the card you want to use for your purchase. Once you have selected the appropriate card, simply tap your smartphone, smartwatch or tablet to the digital-payment enabled terminal and the transaction occurs automatically.

You may be able to use your mobile wallet when conducting business via certain apps as well, such as when you want to use Uber to get from one destination to another. When you are ordering your Uber for the evening, simply select the mobile wallet as your payment option while you are in the Uber app and the transaction is completed.

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